December 6, 2013

Pioneer Woman's No Knead Dinner Rolls

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So, this Turkey Day, I figured why not cross off an item on the life list. It seemed like the perfect excuse to make dinner rolls from scratch rather than buy the rise & bake kind from the freezer aisle. I figured worst case scenario, I'd serve Crescent Rolls. Before I scoured the interwebs, I saw that the Pioneer Woman posted her favorite dishes for Thanksgiving. In that collection, I saw No Knead Dinner Rolls. Perfect! I also printed off a recipe for mashed potatoes. I'll tell you about those later.

Ree mentions that the dough could be made a day or two ahead of time and that was my initial plan, but when it came time, I was too nervous that a cool kitchen wouldn't make the yeast lively. So, I waited until after I got the bird in the oven. I followed the first few steps and then let the mixture cool while I started on my sausage stuffing. Then, I finished the stuffing while I waited for the dough to rise. It came together easy.

The dough was pretty sticky, so I coated my hands in butter to make the dough easier to roll. I quickly rolled enough to fill two muffin tins. Trouble was each tin is six muffins. The twelve rolls barely made a dent in the large pan filled with dough. Since they needed to rise a bit more before baking. I decided to roll out and form rolls on parchment paper then I would transfer to the tins after each batch baked. I had made 36 rolls and still had a ton of dough so I put it in loaf pan and let it rise. My first batch of rolls went in the oven for 17 minutes. About 16 minutes in, I smelled them burning. Those were trash. But I peeled back the burnt edges and tasted the crumbly inside, not bad! I'm going to run with it. The other 24 rolls cooked in about 13 minutes. I kept them atop the stove to keep them warm until dinner.

When it was time, they were pretty tasty. Success! After everything for the meal cooked, I put the loaf pan in the oven and baked that about 15 minutes. I had fresh bread to snack on for the next two days. It was really yummy when zapped in the microwave for 15 seconds and topped with butter.

Now, about those mashed potatoes... I'm not very fond of them (I can count on one hand the times I've actually liked them), but I feel like they are a staple of Thanksgiving so I've served them every year I've cooked. The feeling must be mutual because they've never cooperated. They turned gummy when mixing one year, so the next, I did my research and found out a ricer is the secret to mashed potatoes. Yeah, that didn't solve my problem (and it takes FOREVER). While, edible, they weren't enjoyable. The next, I added a ton of butter. Better, but still nothing special. When I came across Pioneer Woman's Creamy Mashed Potatoes I loved that they could be made ahead of time. Not only do my mashed potatoes fail to impress they inevitably delay dinner. So, I figured at the very least I'd solve one problem. I purchased my first potato masher and got to work. The recipe was easy, no more labor intensive that your usual mashed potato. I let them chill overnight and about two hours before heating I pulled them out of the fridge. They heated through while my stuffing baked. Timing wise it couldn't of worked out any better. Taste? Well, they were decent. I've decided to throw in the towel. Next year, I'll serve potatoes, but they won't be mashed.

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